Owner of an aging fleet, Air Niugini orders two Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

Papua New Guinea’s national flag carrier aims to expand long-haul flights and retire its two 767-300s with nearly 28 years in service

Air Niugini, the national flag carrier of Papua New Guinea, is one of the airlines with the oldest fleet of aircraft in service in the world.

According to Planespotters, its 20 aircraft average more than 26 years in service. The oldest of them is a Fokker 100 that flew for the first time in December 1990 and should have been delivered to the late Braniff and Pan Am.

The need to renew its fleet is something that airline executives have been trying for some time and at least one of the problems seems to have been resolved. Air Niugini has just closed an acquisition agreement with Boeing to receive two 787-8 Dreamliners.

Currently, the airline operates two 767-300s on long-haul flights, but the aircraft are already advanced in age, with almost 28 years in service.

Air Niugini Fokker 100

Air Niugini should receive the two 787s in 2026 and intends to expand its network with them. “The jets will enable the national flag carrier of Papua New Guinea to fly new routes from the Pacific island nation and boost capacity for inbound tourism,” said the US planemaker’s statement.

“Signing this contract with Boeing for the purchase of two modern, widebody 787 Dreamliners will enable Air Niugini to grow its network across Asia, Australia, and New Zealand and fulfill its mission as the premier airline in Papua New Guinea, providing the best air service in the region,” reinforced Gary Seddon, acting CEO of Air Niugini.

Next: order for E2 or A220 jets

Air Niugini has, in addition to the two 767s, also a single 737-800 (another aircraft of the type was lost in an accident in 2017), four Dash 8-400 turboprops (the newest aircraft in the fleet) and 13 Fokker jets – seven Fokker 100 and six Fokker 70.

The E195-E2 in Port Moresby in February 2023

Not by chance, the airline is considering replacing these old aircraft with modern regional jets such as the Airbus A220 and the Embraer E2.

The Brazilian manufacturer has already held two presentations in the country, with the E190-E2 in 2019 and the E195-E2 earlier this year.

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So far, however, the carrier has not revealed when and which aircraft it intends to order. Since 2014, Air Niugini has a firm order for four 737 MAX 8s, which have not yet been delivered.


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